Today marks Litemind’s first anniversary. When I started the site, I really didn’t know what to expect, but looking back from today, I am very glad I decided to take that first imperfect step…
Running this website has been a truly enjoyable and worthwhile experience in every aspect. It’s a great feeling knowing that the ideas I share here have been useful to many people. Not only that, but it’s amazing to realize how this website has been instrumental for my own personal growth. Thank you all!
A special ‘thank you’ also goes to the many of you that helped spread the word about the site or otherwise expressed appreciation for it.
I surely enjoy praise — who doesn’t? — but an even bigger round of thanks goes to those who provided me with honest criticism; those who exposed flaws in my reasoning or made suggestions to make this site better. It’s great to have you around pointing out my blind spots. Providing specific feedback is one of the best ways you can help me with the site.
Fortunately, Litemind is no longer the lone place it was a year ago. However, it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I hadn’t completely broken free from the ‘monologue’ mindset of the early days.
A great part of blogging is about having a community of readers and bloggers interacting with each other, exploring, exchanging and discussing ideas together. And collaborating more closely with you is something that I’m sure will make Litemind a richer experience for us all.
Increasing involvement with you readers is my main goal for this site from now on.
Let me share with you some steps I’m undertaking towards that goal.
Opening Up Communication Channels
About a month ago, I quietly added a poll at the bottom of every page in this site. Even without any announcement, the participation has been great. The lesson? Readers are willing to participate when given the chance. Based on that, I decided to always have some kind of poll active in the site, as I think it’s a quick and effective way of communication we can use.
If you haven’t done so, please take a few seconds and take the poll that’s now on. This one is about what your favorite topics are — an important feedback for letting me know your expectations about the site.
Fostering Reader Participation
This site has the privilege of having many insightful readers that contribute via comments. It’s not rare to have interesting comment threads still going on for articles that are several months old. In order to make those great discussions harder to miss, I am now showing the latest comments in the sidebar.
I would also like to bring you more into the spotlight. Some options I am considering are highlighting active commenters and discussing particularly insightful themes publicly.
Another area for improvement is having more collaborative projects on the site. One experiment we had here (the Lists Group Writing Project) was very stimulating and fun, so I thought about running more projects like that one.
Featuring Guest Bloggers
I already had a couple of guest bloggers this past year, and it was wonderful to bring different perspectives to the site. There are a lot of great minds around willing to share ideas, so I figured it would be even more productive to make more space available for this kind of collaboration. (If you’re interested in guest posting on Litemind, here are some helpful guidelines.)
I usually have links to share, quick questions to ask or half-baked ideas that I feel don’t deserve full blog posts. However, I still think these things should be shared and discussed.
For that reason, I recently got started in microblogging. (If you don’t know what microblogging is, think of it as instant messaging, but public instead of private.)
Microblogging is something that I initially resisted as I couldn’t see the value in it. Now I see it: it’s a quick, efficient and more informal channel of communication. Let me put it this way: if the blog is a presentation and the comments are the QA session at the end, then microblogging is the ‘water-cooler chat’: a much more informal and relaxed environment for conversations and sharing of ideas.
The microblogging platform I use is Twitter — which is both free to join and easy to use. You’re more than welcome to follow me there and join the conversation.
Also, if you use social media services such as Facebook, StumbleUpon or others, please feel free to check my activity there and to add me to your contact list, too.
Creating a Free Newsletter with Exclusive Content
Last but not least, I just opened up registration for an e-mail newsletter. By signing up for the newsletter, you’ll have access to extra, complementary content that will expand on the ideas in the website.
The details (such as when I’ll start sending the newsletters) aren’t yet finalized: it will all depend on many factors, including how people react to the idea and how many subscribers it gets.
One thing you can rest assured is that the newsletter will always be relevant to the topics of the website. If you enjoy the site, it’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy receiving the newsletter.
Also, the details you provide (name and e-mail address) will be used solely for the purpose of sending you the newsletter. Your details will never be disclosed to any other third party.
To sign up for the newsletter, click here.
Thanks again for a great year! I am truly excited about having you around and I’m eager to see how the coming years unfold at Litemind.
If you have any feedback about the ideas I outlined here or have any ideas of your own, please let me know in the comments (or in private, if you prefer). I really appreciate it!